Students at a university in Georgia, USA, have been burning books that offend them.
After hearing a lecture on white privilege from a Latina author the students were so outraged after hearing about the concept of white privilege, that they decided to burn her book.
Jennine Capó Crucet spoke at Georgia Southern University recently about her book Make Your Home Among Strangers, a fictional piece about a young Latina from a lower-middle-class family living in Miami. The book follows her journey as she attends a prestigious college and struggles both socially and academically in the new “predominantly white” school setting. Georgia Southern University had the book as required reading for many First-Year Experience classes.
After Jennine Capó Crucet spoke about her book at she opened up her lecture to audience questions.
The question and answer section of the lecture quickly turned into a rush of questions about the authors comments on race- in particular white privilege.
“I noticed that you made a lot of generalisations about the majority of white people being privileged,” one student said to Capó Crucet. “What makes you believe that it’s okay to come to a college campus, like this, when we are supposed to be promoting diversity on this campus, which is what we’re taught. I don’t understand what the purpose of this was.”
In response, Capó Crucet explained that she had been invited to the university to speak about white privilege “It’s a real thing that you are actually benefiting from right now in even asking this question.”
Her response prompted more questions from students who did not understand the concept of white privilege. According to Buzzfeed News, students became upset when the author said most white people “needed to be removed from authority positions because two-thirds of people in high positions should not be white.”
That evening a group of students organised a book burning on campus- a stark reminder of how privileged people act when they’re confronted with something they don’t like.
Is burning a book you don’t like really the act of mature, intelligent people?
According to reports, some students decided they would threaten and intimidate the author by gathering outside of the hotel that she was staying at.
“Last night’s discussion with the author devolved into accusations of her demonstrating racism against white people. Some students burned copies of Crucet’s book and even gathered outside her hotel. We assert that destructive and threatening acts do not reflect the values of Georgia Southern University,” Dr. Russell Willerton, the department chair said.
In response to the book burning, Capó Crucet tweeted: “Students at Georgia Southern literally burning my novel. This is where we are, America.”
The university’s vice president for Strategic Communications and Marketing John Lester responded to the drama, by saying the school is “not planning any actions against any of the students involved in this incident… While it’s within the students’ First Amendment rights, book burning does not align with Georgia Southern’s values nor does it encourage the civil discourse and debate of ideas.”
so after our FYE book’s author came to my school to talk about it... these people decide to burn her book because “it’s bad and that race is bad to talk about”. white people need to realize that they are the problem and that their privilege is toxic. author is a woman of color. pic.twitter.com/HiX4lGT7Ci— elaina⭐️ (@elainaaan) 10 October 2019